The Larissa Diocese of the Greek Church is assisting the residents of Larissa in escaping the floods. Metropolitan of Larissa and Tyrnavos, Hieronymus, spoke about the church's assistance in this critical situation in an interview with the Greek publication Ekirikas.
Last week, Greece experienced abnormal rainfall, causing several regions in Thessaly to flood. The Larissa Diocese was among the most severely affected, with the Pineios River overflowing and the city of Larissa cut off from civilization. According to Metropolitan Hieronymus, the Church is doing everything it can to help the people. Those whose homes are underwater are staying overnight in the churches. At the most dangerous moment of the flood, priests rang the church bells to warn people of the need to evacuate. Metropolitan Hieronymus emphasized that this timely alert helped prevent human casualties.
Humanitarian aid is being distributed to people in the churches of the Larissa Diocese. Additionally, volunteers are preparing hot meals for children. "We strive to feed the children first because the adults can manage on their own," said Metropolitan Hieronymus.
The hierarch emphasized that the main danger people face now is the aftermath of the flooding. "During the flood, a lot of livestock, rodents, and snakes perished. The stench is unbearable throughout the area. There is a swarm of mosquitoes, posing a risk of leptospirosis and West Nile fever. Due to the risk of contamination, the water supply in the flooded region is not safe to drink," Metropolitan Hieronymus explained. The churches are distributing not only food and water but also bleach, so people can clean their homes of mold and disinfect their belongings.
Despite the consequences of the disaster, Metropolitan Hieronymus urged the faithful not to leave the region but to stay and collectively rebuild what has been destroyed. "I ask everyone to pray for Thessaly, so that it can return to a peaceful life as soon as possible," concluded Metropolitan Hieronymus.